Monday, February 15, 2010
Thai Airways has officially revealed that it will be suspending all of its flights to KWI-Kuwait City from March 28th after just launching nonstop services on this sector a year prior. No reason has been cited for the move. TG also confirmed that it will be launching new 4 weekly nonstop flights to JNB-Jo'Burg from May 17th from its BKK hub using a Boeing 777-200ER. The flight schedule is as follows:
Days of operation: MON/WED/FRI/SAT
TG 703 Dep BKK 0115 Arr JNB 0730
TG 704 Dep JNB 1340 Arr BKK 0555+1
Thai Airways has officially announced that they will be increasing capacity to Islamabad, Colombo and Chennai from the on set of the IATA Summer 2010 season. All flights to these 3 destinations are currently being flown with an Airbus A 300-600R, however from March 28th, these cities will see flights operated by the larger and more modern Airbus A 330-300. In addition, TG has also announced that it has set aside a budget of US$ 1.1 billion to purchase 15 wide bodied aircraft this year of which it said 8 will be 350 seater aircraft where as the remaining 7 will be 300 seaters. The eight 350 seater aircraft will be exclusively deployed on long haul routes where as the 300 seater aircraft will be used on regional flights within Asia.
For the 350 seater aircraft order, TG should be ordering the Boeing 777-300ER only because it is the ideal aircraft to use on long haul flights to Europe, JNB and Australia versus the Airbus A 340-600. TG has both the B 777s and A 346s in its current fleet but only B 772s. The operating cost of a B 77W versus an A 346 are in favor of the B 77W by nearly 20%.With regards to the cabin configuration, one hopes that TG does not install a first class cabin on board the 350 seater aircraft because it is not needed one bit. It must realize that it is based out of BKK which is primarily a leisure oriented city and not SIN which is a financial hub hence witnessing more premium class travel ! If the B 77W is indeed ordered by TG, the best configuration for it to have on board is 36 business class + 315 in economy class. As far as the 300 seater aircraft is concerned, it would be best to stick to ordering the A 333 of which it already has 15 of in the fleet. These aircraft are needed to gradually fully replace the14 A 300-600Rs being used on domestic and regional Asian routes.
Another thing that TG need to seriously look at is the current configuration of their fleet of 6 A 346s which seats 267 pax with the break up being 8 in first + 60 in business + 199 in economy. Everybody knows that such a configuration for a large aircraft such as the A 346 and for an airline like TG is totally ludicrous because the high volume premium demand isn't that great for the routes that it deploys them on. For it to use the A 346s in a more cost efficient manner on long haul routes, all aircraft should be sent for a cabin re-fit with the configuration being 8 in first class + 36 in business class + 264 in economy class with the total count thus increased from 267 to 308 which is better as it will help bring down operating cost per seat kilometer on long haul routes. There is no need what so ever for TG to have any aircraft in its fleet containing 60 J class seats as the demand isnt there especially in this current economic climate.